Redefining Resilience: Building True Strength in Modern Times

26 September 2023

Compass For Life

The concept of resilience has long been lauded as an essential quality to navigate the storms of life. However, our understanding of what constitutes resilience has evolved. An outdated notion would have us believe resilience is purely about stoicism, bearing challenges alone with a stiff upper lip. Yet, the modern definition of resilience recognises it as a multi-faceted quality deeply rooted in personal and communal strength.

Here are six tips to building resilience:

1. Moving Beyond Stoicism: The time-honoured belief that resilience means facing adversities alone is outdated. While there’s merit in inner fortitude, resilience isn’t about suppressing emotions or facing challenges in isolation. It’s about acknowledging emotions, seeking support when needed, and understanding that strength can be found in vulnerability.

2. Mental and Physical Nurturing: True resilience emerges from a foundation of well-being. To weather external pressures, we must first be in good shape internally. This means tending to our mental health, ensuring we’re emotionally balanced, and keeping ourselves physically fit. Being in good physical shape isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about endowing our bodies with the stamina and vitality needed to face challenges head-on.

3. The Strength of Community: We’re social creatures, and in our connections, we often find unmatched strength. A supportive community—be it family, friends, or colleagues—provides perspective, offers guidance, and often, just the simple reassurance that we’re not alone. Leaning on this community during trying times doesn’t diminish our resilience; it amplifies it.

4. Processing Thoughts Effectively: Resilience is as much about mental agility as it is about endurance. It’s essential to cultivate the skill to process thoughts without immediately resorting to emotive or impulsive reactions. This doesn’t mean suppressing emotions but understanding them—analysing their origins and implications before acting upon them.

5. Proactive Engagement: Resilience isn’t a passive quality; it’s dynamic. Instead of avoiding challenges or burying our heads in the sand, we should engage with situations actively. Addressing issues head-on, seeking solutions, and being adaptive are hallmarks of a resilient individual. It’s about confronting the storm, not just weathering it.

6. Know Your Ethos: One of the key cardinals of the compass model highlights ethos as a core direction, underscoring the importance of values in guiding our path. Similarly, resilience is deeply intertwined with our values. Knowing what we stand for—and, equally, what we don’t—provides a clarity that makes facing challenges more navigable. When rooted in our values, we can face adversities without losing sight of who we are or what we believe in.

Resilience in the modern age is a blend of mental agility, physical health, communal support, proactive engagement, and a strong ethical foundation. Gone are the days when resilience was synonymous with silent suffering or isolated endurance. Today, resilience is about active engagement with challenges, rooted in personal well-being and supported by collective strength.

As we chart our courses through life’s complexities, let’s redefine resilience—not as an isolated, stoic fortress, but as a dynamic, interconnected web of strengths, where every strand, from self-care to community support, contributes to our ability to thrive amidst challenges.